Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Read Alouds

The Holiday book section in Youth Services has been quite busy lately; the Thanksgiving books flew off of the shelves in November and the shelf remained empty for nearly the entire month!
As the Thanksgiving books are coming back, the Christmas and Hanukkah books are starting to go. I thought I might share my top five favorite winter holiday picture books in case you are searching for a few good reads to share with family and friends this season.

Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah by Linda Glaser
This is a sweet story about a girl with a big heart who wants to share Hanukkah with her lonely neighbor.
The Magic Dreidels: A Hanukkah Story by Eric Kimmel
A goblin shares magic dreidels with a young boy, but the magic is gone before the boy gets home…where has the magic gone? Read the book to find out!
I Have a little Dreidel by Maxie Baum
Very young children will love the rhythmic sound of this story, which is a combination of the Dreidel Song and a story written to the tune of the Dreidel Song.
The Chanukkah Guest by Eric Kimmel
The Chanukkah Guest turns out to be a big brown bear. This is a funny story that will certainly get kids laughing!
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
Beware, this book can be scary, it includes mean goblins and the pictures are very dark. However, the book certainly can capture the attention of an audience, especially if they like adventures or even if they like being scared! In the story, goblins are haunting a Synagogue and keeping any of the townspeople from celebrating Hanukkah. Hershel is determined to stop these goblins so that the town can celebrate Hanukkah again.

Bear’s First Christmas by Robert Kinerk
This is absolutely my favorite Christmas story; the pictures are magically captivating and the story gives me a warm feeling every time I read it! This is a gentle story about a bear and some newly found friends who stumble across Christmas. Though they can’t completely understand the meaning what they see, they end up creating a home where they share kindness, generosity, and friendship.
The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
This simple retelling of the Nutcracker has beautiful illustrations and the text is not overwhelming for a preschooler.
The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
This book would be the perfect gift to share family members who are not be able to spend Christmas with family, but it is also a wonderful book to share with anyone you love, whether they are near or far. The text is rhythmic, simple and comes from the heart.
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Story by Martin Waddell
Room for a Little One is another book with beautiful illustrations and simple text that tells the story of the birth of Jesus in a way that young children can understand.
The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer
The Christmas Baby is a simple and captivating story of the Nativity.

This is not a holiday book, but The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell is a great story to read, especially during the holidays. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in gifts we forget what a gift it is to have each other, this book sweetly portrays giving the gift of friendship.
All the best to you and your family this holiday season!

Please share any of your favorite holiday books!

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